No longer recommended in the UK. No longer manufactured.

  • Nelfinavir (tradename Viracept in Europe) is a protease inhibitor.
  • Standard adult dose: 5 x 250 mg tablets twice daily.
  • Nelfinavir needs to be taken with food. Absorption increases with calorie count and increased fat content.
  • Side effects: diarrhoea, lipid changes including lipodystrophy.
  • Other notes: nelfinavir is an older protease inhibitor that is now rarely used in the UK. This is because it is less effective and has more side effects than newer alternatives. Nelfinavir does not need ritonavir as a booster. A 625 mg formulation is available in the US.
  • The European manufacturer, Roche, stopped producing nelfinavir in January 2013 when the patent ended due to low use and the availability of alternative treatments.

Further information

Information on diarrhoea and  lipodystrophy from the i-Base side effects guide.

The European patient leaflet and detailed Product Information for nelfinavir are available in PDF format from this link at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) website.

The Patient Information is a simplified summary: what the drug is, why it is used, results from studies and cautions including side effects.

The Product Information is a detailed technical summary that you can access as a PDF file by clicking the ‘Product Information’ tab. It describes more precisely how the drug works and how it is processed by your body. This includes, for example, reported food interaction studies in terms of calories or fat content. It includes more details of the study results and a full list of side effects and drug interactions.